By: Anton Mbinge
The Rundu Town Council in Kavango East has been ranked amongst the worst performing local authorities and regional councils in the country. This is according to an assessment conducted by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) on the level of transparency, accountability and governance of local authorities and regional councils in the country.
The findings were presented by research associate Kitty Mcgirr. “Notably, towns like Rundu had their water supply cut on more than one occasion, this was due to debt issues of them owing NamWater,” Mcgirr said.
Among the poor performing local authorities and regional councils are the //Kharas Regional Council, Karasburg Town Council, Katima Mulilo Town Council, Mariental and Okahandja municipalities.
The study which included 12 municipalities and six town councils focused on municipalities and larger town councils where institutional capacities are relatively more established. The assessments are determined on the basis of public information lifted from sources such as local and regional councils’ activity reports, financial statements and other supporting materials, audit reports from the office of the Auditors General and print media articles. The information was gathered from 1 September 2020 up to 30 August 2022.
Efforts to get a comment from the Rundu Town Council management and Public Relations Officer proved futile.
Kitty Mcgirr added that they struggled to get feedback from many councils even after confirming that they will participate in the survey. She stated that the response was disappointing, with only about 15 percent of institutions getting back to them with the information requested. "We really struggled with getting responses from a lot of councils in the end, despite multiple extensions of deadlines,” she added.
Local authorities listed under best performing include Erongo regional council, Oshakati town council, Swakopmund municipality, Walvis bay municipality and Windhoek municipality amongst others.